One of the USACE sub-contractors filed a preliminary lien on my property. What does this mean and am I going to have to pay for the cleanup?
It is standard business practice for subcontractors to file a preliminary lien notice with the property owner on any work they perform as a way to ensure they preserve their rights in the event they do not get paid. These notices also inform the property owner which contractor did any work on their property. In the case of a federal contract, like the debris removal contracts that USACE issued to AshBritt and ECC, there is a payment and performance bond to ensure all subcontractors/vendors receive payment for the services they perform on a specific property. However, not all subcontractors are familiar with federal contracting and are simply filing preliminary lien notices routinely. Thus, property owners are not financially responsible for work done by sub-contractors under these federal
contracts. If property owners receive a preliminary lien notice, they should attempt to confirm with the sub-contractor filing the preliminary notice that the work was done under one of the federal contracts. If so, payment for this work is covered by the prime contractors payment bonds. USACE has firmly directed our prime contractors to inform their subcontractors that the prime contractor is required to have payment bonds filed with USACE and reassure them that they will get paid for the work done for property owners who have signed an ROE.